The Story Of Sweat
The Bible is the most
intriguing book ever written because under the surface and not
immediately visible through normal reading, are stories, themes
and situations, which when we unearth them, can only be explained
by the amazing revelation that they could not exist by ordinary
The inevitable conclusion we come to and the only reasonable
and logical explanation for this is that the Bible is no ordinary
book, but is Divinely inspired. The following is one of those
stories. Read on and be amazed!
Some words do not appear very often in the Bible. The word
'SWEAT' in fact occurs only three times in the authorised King
James Version. In each case its appearance occurs in widely
The first mention is at the start of the Book of Genesis. The
second occurs in the Gospels of the New Testament in the last
quarter of the book, and the third we find back near the middle
of the Bible in the Book of Ezekiel. Nothing too remarkable just
yet is there? But in these three mentions of "sweat," which I am
sure you will agree is a most unusual bible word to base a story
around, lie a complete summary of the Gospel message!
FIRST MENTION - Genesis 3:19
The setting is in the Garden of Eden, the place where God
fellowshipped with Adam and Eve on a daily basis. However Adam is
about to hear God's judgement spoken upon him for he had sinned
through disobedience by eating of the fruit of the forbidden
tree. God said these words...
'In the SWEAT of your face you shall eat bread till you
return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you
are, and to dust you shall return.'
This is the pronouncement of the legacy that Adam brought not
only upon himself, but the entire human race right down to the
present day - a life of struggling by physical effort to survive,
a difficult tiring existence which would end in death, very
different to that which God had originally planned. Man was
created as an eternal creature but through Adam’s sin is
now consigned to die, receiving the 'wages' of sin which is death
as recorded in Romans 6.23.
And so, Adam was turned out of the Paradise of God, the Garden
of Eden, to endure and to pass down the legacy he was responsible
SECOND MENTION - Luke 22:44
Coincidentally, in a most amazing way we have a very similar
setting to the first part of our story. In this section of the
Gospels which are part of the New Testament we meet our
1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us who this person really is. It is
none other than Jesus Himself!
The setting in Luke is the last earthly night of Jesus' life.
Here He spends His last hours in intercessory prayer before His
capture, judgement and death by crucifixion. Not only is Jesus
the 2nd Adam, but the location of this story takes place in
another Garden - this time the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here he was at the 11th hour of His earthly ministry agonising
over the ordeal He knew was to come, yet earnestly interceding
for souls of people like you and I. Even here he was experiencing
the cost He was going to have to pay to redeem mankind from its
sin. The Luke account records that –
'And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His
SWEAT became like great drops of blood falling
to the ground.'
John's Gospel tells us that Jesus explained to His Disciples
that He was ‘the bread of life.' By this statement
we can start piecing this story together and now see that the
first Adam was to eat bread by the sweat of his brow and the
second Adam was to provide bread by the same means.
Therefore the first Adam ate bread to sustain
life. Jesus, the second Adam, provided bread, His very own body
in fact, to bring life.
We often think of the torture that was inflicted on Christ by
the death on the Cross. Yet in the Garden was another great
demonstration of the obedience of Jesus to the Father's will and
His great love for lost mankind. His labour in prayer was so
intense and painful that sweat fell as great drops of blood to
So the Bible presents us with two different Adams and
two different Gardens with sweat as the common
They are akin to the positive and the negative of a photograph
or a mirror image of each other. Sin appeared in Eden and the
consequence became the sweat of suffering and
the dust of death. In Gethsemane, righteousness appeared through
the sweat of sacrifice and the forgiveness of
sin and the restoration of eternal life was the result.
THIRD MENTION - Ezekiel 44:18
In this passage we have a description of the rules for Temple
service, but the symbolic picture is one of all the redeemed
saints of the Lord enjoying immortality, as depicted in the first
three verses of Revelation 21.
The linen garments mentioned are the key to understanding the
setting, because right throughout the Bible linen is interpreted
as a type of righteousness. So here we have a prophetic picture
of the redeemed of Christ enjoying a heavenly eternity as shown
in the following descriptive words –
'They shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen
trousers on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with
anything that causes SWEAT!'
In Ezekiel's prophetic portrait therefore, we see that the
redeemed are at last free from the consequences of Adam's sin
which brought about the sweat of suffering.
The theme that links these three mentions of the word 'sweat'
is a microcosm or a very condensed description of the Gospel
story which is –
How then could this be accidental when each passage was
written centuries apart from any of the others by different
writers? The most thought provoking fact however is this. It is
impossible for Ezekiel and Luke to have written these things
deliberately BECAUSE EZEKIEL'S PASSAGE ONLY MAKES SENSE ONCE THE
PASSAGE IN LUKE IS READ - yet Ezekiel wrote centuries before Luke
Truly the Word of God is shown once again to be beyond
man’s ability to invent, confirming and underlining the
Divine nature of Scripture and God’s seal upon it as
confirmed by 2 Timothy 3:16 which says –
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."